There are a few regulars in my family's Christmas cookie tradition and this bar cookie goes back as far as I can remember. One of my mom's personal favorites because she is allergic to nuts and prefers milk chocolate to dark, these toffee bars were a safe alternative to the many varieties of nut-laced toffees. She made them crispy with a thin layer of chocolate on top.
Over the past years I have realized that my husband prefers soft and chewy cookies and so I began making the same dough but baking it in a smaller pan resulting in a thicker, softer bar. With the addition of more melted chocolate for frosting, my husband now proclaims these soft toffee bars his favorite.
The best part about them is how easy they are to make. Because they are quite rich they can be cut into small squares and therefore make many cookies in a short amount of time and effort. I brought them to my first cookie swap last week and they were a hit. People even commented that they looked professional. I had to chuckle knowing how insanely easy they are to make. Enjoy!
SOFT TOFFEE BARS
1 c. salted butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
1 16oz. bag Hershey's milk chocolate chips
1. Cream together butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined.
3. Add salt and flour. Mix on low just until combined and dough comes together well.
4. Dump into ungreased baking pan. I use a 15 x 9 inch pan with sides. (Use a bigger pan and your toffee bars will be thinner and crunchy like my Mom prefers.)
5. Pop the tray of dough into the refrigerator and turn on the oven to 350 degrees. The dough can chill a bit while the oven is heating and you can clean up the kitchen.
6. Place the tray on center rack of pre-heated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Watch closely! If they brown too fast they will be crispy.
7. As soon as the bars come out of the oven dump entire bag of chocolate chips on top. Allow them to soften for five minutes then spread with offset spatula.
8. CUT BARS IMMEDIATELY after frosting. Once cut into squares allow to cool completely before storing. If your kitchen is warm they can go into the fridge to firm up the frosting before placing between layers of waxed paper in sealed containers.
These bars keep beautifully for several days at room temp and can also be frozen for 3-4 weeks prior to Christmas.
Sharing with these festive link-ups: